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March 10, 2021

Toyota Motor PH Pretty Much Confirmed the GR Yaris for the Local Market (Update: It's Officially Coming)

UPDATE: Toyota Motor PH confirmed it (3/26).

At the launch of the new Vios GR-S, Toyota Motor Philippines may have let one big cat slip out of the bag: more GAZOO Racing models are coming.

Short of confirming what these models are, First Vice President for Marketing, Sherwin Chualim says that more “GAZOO Racing models—both performance and GR-S variants—are coming.”

From the Vios GR-S press release:
Through the introduction of the Vios GR-S, the first GR-S model in its lineup, Toyota Motor Philippines intends to make sportier options available for racing fans and motorsports enthusiasts who want to express this passion through their daily drivers.
Chualim says that Toyota’s mantra of building “ever-better cars” will form the core of Toyota Motor Philippines’s 2021 plans. With that, he’s confirmed that GAZOO Racing parts, accessories, and even merchandise will be made available.

It’s also confirmed that Toyota Racing Development or TRD will be gradually phased out in favor of the GAZOO Racing brand.

Toyota is targeting to sell around 50 units of Vios GR-S per month—or 1.6 percent of total Vios sales.

However, later in the panel discussion, Senior Vice President for Marketing, Jing Atienza slipped and said, “The GR Supra will be joined by the Yaris.”

Atienza didn’t explicitly mention what this Yaris model is (who knows, it could just be a Yaris GR-S), it’s more and more likely he’s referring to the GR Yaris (especially since Toyota Motor Philippines confirmed that more performance models are coming). It also makes sense because it’s now available in ASEAN with both Thailand and Malaysia getting it.

The GR Yaris is a hot hatch born from the FIA World Rally Championship. It pairs a turbocharged 1.6-liter 3-cylinder with 261 horsepower and 360 Nm of torque with a 6-speed manual with rev-matching driving all four wheels using the GR-FOUR all-wheel drive system.

The GR-FOUR system defaults 60/40 front-to-rear power split, the GR-FOUR system can differ it to 50/50 in Track, and even 30/70 in Sport mode. Front and rear Torsen-type limited slip differential is standard.

Toyota Motor Philippines confirmed it via Facebook:

As for pricing, Toyota Motor Philippines hasn’t confirmed anything yet, however, they’ll have to work double-time to undercut the gray market which is currently pricing it at 3.7 million pesos. Rumors are Toyota may price the GR Yaris just below the 3-million-peso mark putting it in the same bracket as the Subaru WRX STI and the Honda Civic Type R.

Understandably, the hype surrounding the GAZOO Racing brand is big and with that, they are launching a massive marketing campaign this year including the return of the Vios Cup at the racetrack with the Toyota GAZOO Racing Vios Cup this July (provided it’s deemed safe by authorities) as well as the second running of the GR GT Cup Asia – Philippines for e-racers. The latter makes for a great launch point for the GR Yaris, don’t you think?

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